What is drip marketing? How does it work? What benefits does it offer? We’ll answer these questions and more in our beginner’s guide to drip marketing.
What is drip marketing, and why does it matter?
Drip marketing — sometimes called drip campaigns, automated email campaigns, marketing automation, lifecycle emails, autoresponders and more — is the use of automated sets of emails that are sent on schedule following an event or trigger. Triggers include users purchasing a product, engaging with a blog post, signing up for your service or abandoning their shopping cart.
Drip campaigns are highly effective as they allow you to send the right message at the right time, enabling your brand to stay connected with specific audience segments in a meaningful way. The emails that constitute drip email campaigns are pre-written and issued automatically, meaning there’s no manual input.
It’s all about timing
Drip marketing owes its success to its timeliness — it’s all about giving your audience information that’s relevant and valuable when they need it. Here are a couple of examples to get you thinking:
- Someone subscribes to your email newsletter. They are sent a welcome email instantly, and a follow-up email two days later showcasing your blog’s most-read content.
- Someone puts an item in their shopping cart but doesn’t check out. A few hours later, they are sent an email reminding them of the item they added to cart. A few days later, they are sent an email with a 10 percent coupon code.
- Someone signed up for your service’s seven-day free trial. After six days, they are sent an email prompting them to purchase the full version of your service. If they didn’t purchase, they are sent a follow-up reminder a few days later.
The benefits of drip marketing
“Drip marketing assists marketers in moving prospects through the sales funnel more quickly, provides sales teams with ‘warm’ leads and rewards people with exclusive offers and incentives.” — Forbes
Personalization is critical to successful marketing in the modern business world. According to research by AdAge, one-third of marketers believe personalization will be the most important capability of future marketing. Drip marketing allows businesses to deliver relevant information direct to their target’s inbox, creating a personalized experience that is likely to result in higher engagement and conversion rates.
Even better, drip market assets can be reused, and everything is issued automatically. You can create campaigns to educate and nurture, reward loyal customers and ultimately encourage more sales. Further to this, drip campaigns can help you accurately segment your email list, giving teams access to warm leads that are on the cusp of making a purchase.
Too much of a good thing
Do keep in mind that too many drip emails will annoy your audience. Like any marketing campaign, strategy is crucial. You’ll need to carefully craft your messaging and get your timing just right. A bit of experimentation and A/B testing is also a good idea.
Drip campaign use cases
The goal of any drip campaign is to keep users engaged with your product and to ensure your brand stays front of mind. But what does drip marketing look like in practice?
Here’s a quick look at three effective use cases.
You’ve attracted a user to your website, and you’ve encouraged them to sign up to your newsletter, subscribe to your service or take some other kind of action. How are they going to learn more about your offerings? And more importantly, how are you going to keep them engaged with your brand?
That’s where a welcoming drip email marketing campaign comes into play. At the very least, welcome emails say, “Hi, nice to meet you!” Beyond that, they can be used to provide more information, direct a subscriber to popular content or encourage social sharing.
Leads are people that are aware of your product and may make a purchase in the future. To get to that point, they need a bit of handholding, of nurturing. Nurturing can take many forms: educating users about your service, explaining how certain features work, offering free trials and so on.
Nurturing campaigns can be used alongside other drip marketing tactics, such as welcoming and onboarding emails.
Abandoned shopping carts
A user has added a product to their cart, but chances are, they won’t check out. About 70% of online shopping carts are abandoned. An automated drip campaign can help re-engage wavering customers and coax them back to the buy now button. Follow-up reminders and special offers are excellent ways to improve your chances of a sale.
Email is here to stay
In the age of social media and other sophisticated marketing strategies, email is still one of the most effective tools. Drip campaigns allow you to leverage the power of email and provide a personalized experience for your audience.